When Is Root Canal Treatment Typically Required?


Root canal therapy often creates vivid, discomforting images in a person’s mind due to misconceptions. This procedure aims to preserve an ailing tooth through special techniques and treatment methods.

Defining Root Canal Treatment

Simply put, root canal therapy is a dental procedure executed by an endodontist or a dentist to treat severe tooth decay or infection within the dental pulp, which houses blood vessels and nerves.

The Purpose of this Procedure

The goal is to eliminate discomfort, eradicate the infection, and prevent the tooth from future microbial invasion by removing the inflamed or dead pulp, cleaning the root canal system, and then effectively sealing it.

The Procedure of Root Canal Treatment

Most dread the procedure due to misconceptions. However, with anesthesia, it is generally a pain-free experience and quite straightforward despite involving several stages.

Prior Assessment and Diagnostics

Before the main procedure, an X-ray is usually taken to ascertain the extent of decay or infection, which aids in planning the treatment approach.

Stages of Root Canal Therapy

A root canal procedure is methodical, occurring in several steps:

  1. Anesthetizing the Tooth: The targeted tooth is comfortably numbed through local anesthesia to ensure the procedure is pain-free.
  2. Removing the Dental Pulp: A small dental crown opening helps reach and extract the infected pulp.
  3. Cleaning and Sealing: Using small instruments, the hollow space is cleaned and shaped before being filled with bio-compatible materials such as gutta-percha to seal against further infection.
  4. The Final Crown: After weeks, a permanent crown tops off the tooth to restore its function. A unique aspect of this procedure is the application of all on 4 dental implants. It’s a revolutionary technique that can replace a whole arch of teeth, providing a robust and permanent solution for those with extensive tooth loss.

Factors Affecting Root Canal Therapy

The requirement for root canal therapy isn’t arbitrary; specific factors determine it. These include:

  1. Location of the Tooth: The tooth’s position in the mouth can influence the need for this therapy. For instance, a problem with a front tooth may not manifest the same symptoms as an issue with a molar, and treatment may differ.
  2. Severity of Decay or Infection: The demand for a root canal surges as the tooth decay or infection intensifies. Minor cavities can often be addressed with a filling, but serious decay or an infected pulp typically necessitates root canal therapy.

Identifying potential issues early through regular dental check-ups can prevent the necessity for such an invasive procedure.

When Tooth Extraction is Necessary

However, there are instances where root canal treatment may not be suitable. For instance, if the decay is too severe, it may warrant a tooth extraction in Saskatoon instead of a root canal. It’s important to remember that extraction is typically the last resort when the tooth cannot be saved, and a root canal or filling isn’t viable.

Cost Implications of Root Canal Treatment

Another aspect that scares people about root canals is the cost. Like the severity of the decay, cost varies based on several factors, such as the tooth’s location, the complexity of the case, the dentist’s expertise, and geographical location.

Attributes of Affordable Root Canal Treatment

However, it’s worth mentioning that obtaining an affordable root canal treatment is possible. Many dental insurance plans cover the cost of root canals, filling, and crowns, making it cost-effective.

Signs That May Combat the Need for Root Canal Treatment

There are certain signs that signal the necessity for root canal therapy, and paying keen attention to them can save a lot of pain and trouble:

  • Severe Tooth Pain: This is the most common indicator. If you experience persistent toothache, it’s worth checking out.
  • Darkening Tooth: When a tooth begins to darken in color, it may be a sign of nerve or blood supply damage, known as pulp.
  • Heightened Sensitivity: Excessive sensitivity to hot or cold foods, which remains even after the temperature changes, is another key sign.
  • Chronic Usage of Painkillers: A dental visit is advised if one always needs painkillers due to a toothache.
  • Detection of a Tooth Hole: If you find a hole in your tooth, visit a dentist for a thorough check-up.

Post Root Canal Treatment Care

Good oral hygiene is imperative after root canal therapy. Brush twice daily, choose soft brushes for a while, and use dental products designed for sensitive teeth. Your dental crown requires special attention to maintain. Avoid hard foods for a few days and follow your dentist’s advice. Sensitivity and mild pain may be common as the anesthesia wears off, but contact your dentist if it persists.


The signs that root canal therapy is needed are quite prominent, but addressing them early can prevent further complications. Regular visits to the dentist and maintaining oral hygiene can help keep your teeth healthy, preventing decay, the leading cause of root canal treatments. Remember, our teeth are meant to last a lifetime, and we must ensure they do.